choosing not to wear leggings and yoga pants? or: pockets are the key to lust prevention

In response to this

I can’t really say I was ever around friends and had a husband remark upon his wife’s body to me, but if I were ever around a couple and the husband smacked his wife’s booty and told her she looked hot in her yoga pants, as our toddlers played nearby, as I examined the stain on the knee of my own leggings and wondered if it was snot or what, exactly, I would think, “Good for them. They’re adorable.” And maybe also a little bit of, “Gag, get a room, you two.”

Because let’s be real, I’m probably wearing leggings or yoga pants on any given day. Because the truth is, my post baby belly is…soft…if we’re putting it nicely (and I’m trying so hard to put it nicely because I really do believe that how I talk to myself and about myself matters, so I’m trying to speak about my body as I would any dear friend’s), and “real pants” just hurt me. The button tends to poke into the spot where my abs are still literally ripped apart ever since my body grew twins, and things just don’t feel good when I’m not wearing some sort of elastic waistband. I mean, I do it, but it’s rare. I dress appropriately for church, for dates, and yes, for sitting on the floor at music and movement class when surrounded by toddlers, all of us in nice stretchy waistbands.

So, usually, I’m out and about in leggings or yoga pants, because, as Anne Lamott says, “The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act, volunteering random thoughts about my butt.” I’d probably add that the world is hard enough without letting my perceptions of every man in the world’s reaction to my pants into my decisions about said pants, also.

I mean, if you manage to lust after me with my post baby belly in my snot-smeared stretch pants while I wrangle two toddlers, GOD BLESS YOU.

God bless you too, if your warped religion has convinced you that “noticing that some other woman does in fact possess a butt” is “lust” on par with the “gouge out your eye” variety. Noticing someone has a nice butt in her stretch pants? Not lust. Lust is reducing someone to an object and treating them that way, which, it turns out, is what you’re doing when you expect everyone else in the world to dress according to your anti-lust preferences.

Although, judging by the photo that went along with the article, I think I have discovered the key to preventing lust:

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.25.50 PM

Honey, those are jeggings. What’s the difference between leggings/yoga pants and jeggings? Pockets. Pockets are the key to lust prevention. You heard it here, first, folks.

Now excuse me, I’m off to inform my husband that he can no longer run around in his soccer or basketball shorts. Those don’t have pockets, and we all now know what that means: lust city.

Which, come to think of it, makes a lot of sense, because we all know cargo shorts might as well be birth control.

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20 thoughts on “choosing not to wear leggings and yoga pants? or: pockets are the key to lust prevention

  1. Love this! I love a lot of what you have to say, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who just feels more at home in my own body in yoga pants after two babies. I spent a lot of time worrying I shouldn’t leave the house in yoga pants after catching one too many episodes of “What Not to Wear” after baby number one, but sometime around being 8 months pregnant with number two I must have lost my give a damn and realized I didn’t want to think about how the seams of my pants were noticeably tighter around my thighs than they’ve ever been before and I didn’t particularly want to think about if anyone else cares, either. Thanks for sticking up for us soft ladies! AND you may be my new hero for reinforcing the notion that I have tried to drive home to my husband for years: no better birth control than cargo pants! Haha

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  2. Don’t you know that the pockets are where all the lustful thoughts go?

    I always give some side-eye to posts like the one you linked to when someone has to make a declaration via blog post as to why they aren’t wearing a certain piece of clothing anymore in the name of “modesty” and then immediately say that they aren’t judging other people when it’s pretty clear that, well, they are judging other people’s choices. Especially when said person has no issue with skinny jeans/jeggings and also says that she’ll wear them out when she wears tops long enough to cover her butt. Choose your choice and all that, but when given one between slim-silhouetted denim and cotton, I’m going to always go for the latter.

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  3. You are absolutely right! Just last week my husband slapped my butt on his way out of the kitchen and said I looked hot. I was wearing saggy sweatpants at least two sizes too big, with NO POCKETS!

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  4. It is not up to me to determine someone else’s headspace. There are definitely times when we should make allowances for others–for instance, we should not ‘trigger’ our friends with addictions or traumatic experiences. This, though?

    Come on! It’s just another way to shame women, in my opinion.

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    • Agreed. There’s being considerate when we know or are made aware of someone’s particular issues, and then there’s policing others because of our own religious extremes.

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  5. Any time that someone prefaces a piece with “I’m not trying to tell anyone what to wear” and then.. proceeds to shame others for wearing certain things? …. I cannot.

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  6. I totally get that leggings etc are more comfortable than other trousers and often wear them rather than jeans- but over here in the UK hardly anyone wears leggings as ‘standalone’ trousers (pants to you!) without a tunic or long jumper covering their bum. I think it’s the tightness- or maybe we have thinner leggings or something here!

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    • Zoe Rose: I think most folks wear longish tops with their leggings and yoga pants. My own personal comfort level is at least the top half of my bum has to be covered. But they’re really no tighter than the “jeggings” I usually consider to be my “real pants,” except for pockets. Side note: I had an Irish roommate in college, and we had a few moments of confusion when I’d say things like “Yeah, I’ll go to dinner with you, I just want to change my pants first,” and she’d be like “Why are you telling me about changing your underwear, and what happened to necessitate this change?” The expression “What’s the craic” also caused confusion, because I was all “crack is whack, is what!”

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      • I had no idea what ‘the craic’ was when I moved to the ‘north’ of the UK, either!! I love the strange alterations between what is essentially the same language.
        I’ve never really seen jeggings much although I know of their existence but maybe I need to investigate further- treggings seemed like a step too far into combining types of trousers though ;)

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        • Old Navy’s Rockstar jean is what I wear most of the time, if you wanna look at those to get a picture. My winter uniform is bulky sweater+jeggings/skinny jeans/leggings+tall boots worn over the pants, usually with hiking socks underneath to keep my toes super toasty.

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  7. I’m a little late catching up on my blog reading, but I have to say, this is brilliant! Especially this: “Noticing someone has a nice butt in her stretch pants? Not lust. Lust is reducing someone to an object and treating them that way, which, it turns out, is what you’re doing when you expect everyone else in the world to dress according to your anti-lust preferences.” Thank you!

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  8. Sadly, this is NOT the first time I have heard that pockets, specifically FRONT pockets are the difference between decent and slutty. It’s come up in discussions of dress codes for 12 year olds. Pockets are what save pants from the junior high clothing censors as well.

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  9. Heh heh. She looks hotter in those jeggings than I will ever look in my leggings. Yesterday after teaching a class of fifth graders I noticed I had dried egg yolk from my fried egg that morning smeared on the thigh of my legging all day. My fifth grade boys thought it was gross, not hot. Anyway, should I offer to feed her until she reaches a less “lustworthy” weight? lol. Because she is going to look amazing in whatever pants she wears apparently. The pants do not make her look hot, she makes the pants look hot. And who cares. Why do people focus on that so much? Just live and let wear and WHO CARES. If you hyper focus on someone’s clothing that is your issue, not the wearers.

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